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“I” believe that very few things look the same from every angle – and fewer things yet can be described in just the same way in different languages.  When we come to the Bible, we can see almost every verse from innumerable angles and in countless translations…so going back to the  original text and language is my preference for understanding.  Yet, the original passages sometimes lead to MORE ambiguity – which can also open up new possibilities and a feast of food for thought!

An example jumps out in today’s reading, Isiah 39: 8: וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֶל-יְשַׁעְיָהוּ, טוֹב דְּבַר-יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ.\\ וַיֹּאמֶר, כִּי יִהְיֶה שָׁלוֹם וֶאֱמֶת בְּיָמָי   This verse may well be translated as: And Hezekiah said to Isaiah: ‘Good [true] is the word of Adonai which you have spoken’.// He said moreover ‘For there shall be peace and truth in My days.’   This seems pretty straightforward, until we ask “Who am ‘I‘”?  Notice those little letters in red in our passage?

Are those red bits are talking about Hezekiah or about G-d?   Hebrew has no capital letters, so our translation into English could include a small “M”- indicating that peace and truth shall be the hallmark of Hezekiah’s days; equally our translation could include a capital “M” telling us peace and truth shall be hallmarks of G-d’s days.  Which translation would you choose?  How will you bring G-d into your day today?  Bonus – check your Biblical Hebrew Challenge below – can you match up a the colored words? Zing me a line to explore some more!

 וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֶל-יְשַׁעְיָהוּ, טוֹב דְּבַר-יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ.\\ וַיֹּאמֶר, כִּי יִהְיֶה שָׁלוֹם וֶאֱמֶת בְּיָמָי  

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah: ‘Good [true] is the word of Adonai which you have spoken’.// He said ‘For there shall be peace and truth in My days.’  

L’Shalom, Rabbi Sheryl

 

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